Imaging Electron Motion in a Few Layer MoS2 Device

S. Bhandari, K. Wang, K. Watanabe, T. Taniguchi, P. Kim, R. M. Westervelt

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Ultrathin sheets of MoS2 are a newly discovered 2D semiconductor that holds great promise for nanoelectronics. Understanding the pattern of current flow will be crucial for developing devices. In this talk, we present images of current flow in MoS2 obtained with a Scanned Probe Microscope (SPM) cooled to 4 K. We previously used this technique to image electron trajectories in GaAs/AlGaAs heterostructures and graphene. The charged SPM tip is held just above the sample surface, creating an image charge inside the device that scatters electrons. By measuring the change in resistance ΔR while the tip is raster scanned above the sample, an image of electron flow is obtained. We present images of electron flow in an MoS2 device patterned into a hall bar geometry. A three-layer MoS2 sheet is encased by two hBN layers, top and bottom, and patterned into a hall-bar with multilayer graphene contacts. An SPM image shows the current flow pattern from the wide contact at the end of the device for a Hall density n = 1.3×1012 cm-2. The SPM tip tends to block flow, increasing the resistance R. The pattern of flow was also imaged for a narrow side contact on the sample. At density n = 5.4×1011 cm-2; the pattern seen in the SPM image is similar to the wide contact. The ability to image electron flow promises to be very useful for the development of ultrathin devices from new 2D materials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number012031
JournalJournal of Physics: Conference Series
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 15 2017
Externally publishedYes
Event33rd International Conference on the Physics of Semiconductors, ICPS 2016 - Beijing, China
Duration: Jul 31 2016Aug 5 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The SPM imaging research and the ray-tracing simulations were supported by the U.S. DOE Office of Basic Energy Sciences, Materials Sciences and Engineering Division, under grant DE-FG02-07ER46422. MoS2 sample fabrication was supported by Air Force Office of Scientific Research contract FA9550-14-1-0268 and Army Research Office contract W911NF-14-1-0247. Growth of hexagonal boron nitride crystals was supported by the Elemental Strategy Initiative conducted by the MEXT, Japan and a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research on Innovative Areas No. 2506 “Science of Atomic Layers” from JSPS. Nanofabrication was performed in the Center for Nanoscale Systems (CNS) at Harvard University, a member of the National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure Network (NNCI), which is supported by the National Science Foundation under NSF award ECCS-1541959.


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